Pakistan changes chief of spy agency
Islamabad, September 30, 2008
Pakistan has appointed a new chief for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate, months after US officials had questioned the reliability of the military's premier spy agency in the war against terrorism.
A military statement issued around midnight on Monday announced a major overhaul of Pakistan's top brass by army chief General Ashfaq Kayani.
The reshuffle will be closely scrutinised by the intelligence community in the United States and neighbours in the region.
A Sept. 20 suicide bomb attack that killed 55 people at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad underscored concern al Qaeda-linked militants and Taliban fighters could destabilise the nuclear-armed Muslim nation of 170 million people.
Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shujaa Pasha, formerly head of military operations, has been appointed director-general of the ISI, replacing Lieutenant-General Nadeem Taj.
Often referred to by critics as a 'state within a state', the ISI is feared by neighbouring Afghanistan and India, as well as Pakistan's civilian politicians whose governments have been overthrown by military coups.
The ISI had helped the United States eliminate hundreds of al Qaeda fighters in the years after the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, but US officials have been concerned about diminishing returns from the alliance.
US fears some ISI agents might be playing a double-game supporting Islamist militants came to a head after a suicide bomber killed 58 people outside India's embassy in Kabul in July. - Reuters
More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories
- Libya orders military force to 'liberate' ports
- Big bananas: Chiquita, Fyffes merge
- Radar sweeps, dozens of aircraft, but no sign of plane
- N Korea tanker loads oil at Libya rebel port
- Gold drops as US growth optimism weighs
- Merkel raps Putin; Russia tightens grip on Crimea
- World 'at sea' over missing Malaysian jetliner
- Passports requiring probe were on Malaysia flight
- 40 killed in Yemen as Houthi fighters near capital
- Vietnam finds object in sea; search on
- $5bn poll spend to boost India economy
- Libya authorises use of force against Korean tanker
- Ukraine PM says he will go to US to discuss crisis
- Syrian journalist killed covering fighting
- Malaysian jet may have turned back before vanishing
- No sign of missing plane; Malaysia probes false passports
- Two Europeans not on board 'missing' Malaysian jet
- China draws red line on North Korea
- Saudi sentences three to death for 2003 bombing
- First bitcoin machine opens in UK
- US sanctions will boomerang, warns Russia
- China plans $50bn bank to fund projects
- Sony to sell Tokyo 'birthplace'
- Obama orders sanctions over Russian moves
- Crimea parliament votes to join Russia
- Arab League to be revamped
- 'Upskirting' is legal: Massachusetts court
- Singapore probes 'unnatural' death of bitcoin trader
- Onus on world powers for Syria war crimes: UN
- US, Russia set for talks on Ukraine crisis